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Agriculture and Land Use Planning

Agricultural Water

  1. Andy Seidl1,
  2. Julia Freedgood2,
  3. Fen C. Hunt3

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.aw26

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Seidl, A., Freedgood, J. and Hunt, F. C. 2005. Agriculture and Land Use Planning. Water Encyclopedia. 3:595–598.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

  2. 2

    American Farmland Trust, Washington, District of Columbia

  3. 3

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, District of Columbia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


The American public values agricultural land for many reasons beyond its ability to produce food, fiber, and timber. Public values for agricultural land preservation have translated into public support for establishing agricultural land preservation programs at the local, state, and federal levels. A mixture of both regulatory and incentive-based approaches have resulted in the permanent protection of nearly 1.5 million acres of agricultural land from conversion to nonagricultural uses and the concentration of millions of more acres in agricultural production through zoning. The failure of land markets to reflect the social value of extensive land uses relative to intensive uses and the irreversibility of land-use intensification decisions create a particularly fluid and pressing policy environment for lay people, land-use practitioners, and researchers alike. We provide a brief overview of the issues and resources and ongoing programs directly influencing agricultural land protection and land-use policy. We pay particular attention to resources and information available on the Internet, recognizing the rapidly changing environment in this policy arena.


  • public policy;
  • economic value;
  • conservation easement;
  • development rights;
  • agricultural land preservation;
  • growth management